Saturday, January 10, 2015

036 Tuesday to Tuesday (Dec. 24-30, 2014)

Dec. 24 - Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, Santa’s coming. I’ll bet all my little grandbabies were going crazy. Remember what it was like to wonder what the morning would bring. I do. I remember for Christmas one year I got a blow up plastic 12” Rudolph. I don’t remember anything else that year, although I’m pretty sure I got something. I did take Rudolph to school and was told I had to put it up. I was really proud of that toy. I can’t remember what happened to it, but such a simple little thing, and it was mine. So funny how those memories come.

We did spend Christmas Eve with Denise and the Missionaries. Her boys were supposed to come, but the dad wouldn’t let them. She was really upset, but what could be done. She has some real challenges. She can’t take care of the older boys by herself and has to take whatever time the boys’ father will allow her to have with them. Little Timmy is built like a little tank. He reminds me of Jackson. He had a lot of fun playing with the Missionaries.

Christmas was a wonderful day. We got to sleep late, get up and unwrap our presents, and then head out to do caroling at the Salvation Army. We had to be there at 9:30 and practiced for an hour and a half. We were supposed to sing from 9:30 to 11:00. We first practiced for about 20 minutes and then moved into place to sing for all those coming in for food that day. Once in place we got to sing until 11:00. At about that time, we were told that they were not even going to let the people in until after 11:00 because of the rioting over Ferguson that was going on downtown in Milwaukee. When 11:00 came around, we left as the new carolers came in to replace us. We had to laugh over the experience. The chorister was a lively person, and she could belt out the songs. She let us know that we needed to sing with flavor because this might be the time when someone would hear us sing and accept Christ because of the beautiful carols we were singing. When we were asked what to sing, I would suggest our carols found in our hymnal. They had a song list that included many of our carols. I suggested “When Shepherds Watched Their Flocks” and the person playing the music asked about the tune. Elder Lenhard and I sang a couple of bars, but we must have been really bad because he informed us that the tune we were singing was to another carol and, therefore, it wasn’t correct. We did inform him that we had the correct tune, but no go!  The songs everyone wanted to sing included Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph, Up on the Housetops, Jingle Bells, etc. Elder Lenhard and I agreed that we were probably going to invite many to come unto Christ with these songs.  It was fun.

We then headed out to lunch at the home of a member in our Pathway class and his family. What a delightful mealtime. They have four children who all look Middle Eastern. Neither parent looks like them, but they say they always get asked about it. They are such a good family. We enjoyed being with them. It was the first time that I had eaten duck, and it was good.

We had to leave their home and drive quickly to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission where we helped serve meals. Elder Lenhard got to help with the trays, but there weren’t as many people for the evening meal as there had been earlier in the day. We had asked another senior couple to come and a sister from City Branch was there, and we spent our time folding napkins.

When the men came in, they were so hungry. As they picked up their trays, they literally stood up and ate it. They had ham, which had to be cut. How they could cut that ham, standing up, and eating with one hand because they were holding the tray with the other was more than I could have done. Many took the time to wish us a Merry Christmas. It was a moving experience. We will try to do that again.
Craig helping with trays
Cyndi Duran from Church went with us to help.

By Friday, we were ready to take a break. We began with helping a member buy groceries for the next two weeks. We tried a new grocery that I felt might have lower prices. You’d think that with lower gas prices, food prices would come down. That used to be the excuse for raising the prices. Guess once they go up, they never come down. We had several things to do later, and we got them done.

We ended up with Denise again on Saturday morning. Our young Missionaries cannot be with her alone, so someone has to go each Saturday because her boys are to come and be taught the Gospel. When we got there, the boys were still opening their presents for Christmas. You can imagine what it looked like. I had to take some time (before the Missionaries showed up) to help clean up the floor. The boys were really excited and so was Denise. She was not happy that the Xbox was not what she thought. I don’t understand all, but I guess she thought there were two games with it; however, she found out that the games had to be downloaded. She has no internet, and she was mad that she didn’t know that when she bought it.

We agreed to pick her up on Sunday and get her to Church (with the weather getting so cold and with Timmy having been sick over the last week). Unfortunately, by the next day, Timmy was not doing well. She had to take him to the hospital because he had RSV. He has asthma, and of course,, the RSV was bad. We went by and gave Timmy a blessing after Church.

I love getting my nails done, so on Monday I finally got to do it. I found out the girl that I like had gone back to Vietnam and won’t come back until the spring. Couldn’t believe it so I had to have another girl that I’d had once before and did not particularly like. However, I have to say, she was marvelous. I have a nasty looking big toe nail which she cut back, and it looks like it is growing in well. I can only hope.

That afternoon we were supposed to meet with one of the Ward’s regarding their Family History plan that was instituted a couple of months ago. When we called about it, we were invited for dinner on Tuesday to discuss what’s going on.

On Tuesday, we visited Brother Len Rebarchik and his wife, Mary, to discuss the High Priest Social that will be held on Friday, Jan. 9th. I’m not sure how it will go. After meeting with him, I’m not so sure there are really any plans that will make this a successful outing. We shall see. We loved being with them. They are very down to earth, and their home is filled with antiques – and I mean real antiques. They have stuff that came down from both of their families and have no idea what to do with it, so it accumulates. I’m sure Adam can understand it.  Hahahaha
Our Scripture for January is Moroni 10:3-5
Moroni 10: 3-5
3. Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4.  And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

035 Tuesday to Tuesday (Dec. 17-23, 2014)

As we got closer to Christmas Day, we could tell the excitement was increasing among all our Missionaries (as well as ourselves). I remember being a child (yes, I was young once) and how much I looked forward to Christmas. While I knew we probably wouldn’t get much in the way of presents, it was so exciting just thinking of it. What a great place to be during the holidays. Christmas helps us to more fully appreciate how the children are excited about the idea of Santa and his presents. We look forward to the day that they realize that the greatest gift of all comes from our Savior. Where would we be if we did not have the Gospel in our lives to remind us of who we are and our possibilities in the Lord’s plan.

On Wednesday, I had to go with Denise to attend her monthly meeting as a member of her team. We could not take Timmy with us so Elder Lenhard had to babysit him. In the past, we’ve allowed Denise to use only a booster seat in our car to transport Timmy. I asked her once what the law was in Wisconsin about children riding in our car. She assured me that it was ok. Mallory and Brad actually clued us in on the law. She has to have a car seat, and we could be fined big time if we got caught. Not only that, but we had begun to realize that if anything happened, we would be in a world of hurt. So, we have stopped taking them anywhere if she did not have a car seat. On this day, they did not have one, so it worked well that Timmy was able to stay home.

Her meeting did not go well. She got into trouble with her finances.  She had received a small inheritance from her mother, and instead of saving any of it, she spent it all on Christmas for her kids. She wants her kids to love her more than dad, and she wasn’t thinking about anything else. She may have to start looking for another place to live sooner than she had expected.

We went by and saw the sister that last week we couldn’t get to see other than to say “hello, goodbye.” We visited with her for at least 30 minutes and found she had a lot more garbage in her life than we had originally thought. I just loved her little ones. We decided that we will get a couple of presents for the kids  and take them later.

Our last Pathway class came to fruition on Thursday night. All of our students have re-registered for the winter semester. We are excited to start the new semester as the students begin a math class and continue their study of the Book of Mormon. We don’t do the religious class, only the math one. I’ve looked at the new curriculum, and it is going to be fun.

Friday was a quiet day. The weather was once again gray and nasty looking. We didn’t really get rain, but it was humid and the wind blows just enough to keep it cold. Some days we are just grateful we can stay inside and make phone calls etc.

Saturday we had a few errands to run, and we were picking up Denise and Timmy for a Christmas party at Oak Creek Ward. It was a great party. There were a lot of people there, and it was decorated to the hilt. They had a live nativity by the children, and then they played the bells for several songs. It was great.

 Such a cute scene. I love watching the Nativity played out by the children.

If you look closely, you can see the children
in the front. Each child had a bell and a director led them in several carols. It was really good.

On Sunday, we had an all musical Sacrament meeting. Branch President Fritz narrated the program, and we loved it. Everyone ended up in one group or another to sing a song. Then our violinists played, and we had the pianists played, etc.  It was so special.

Monday saw us going to the gym that morning, off to buy a few presents for the family we had visited earlier in the week, That took a good part of the morning. Thank goodness Michael’s had 70% off of everything, and I was able to get a couple of nice things for little money. Elder Lenhard had to get a haircut, and I decided to wait on mine for another day or so. 

That evening we had been invited to President and Sister Cutler’s to celebrate Christmas with all the Elders and Sisters who served in the South Stake Building Wards. There were at least 20+ missionaries. The Cutler’s married daughter, husband, and little baby were there also Evidently, that day as they were making a soup, they had used some noodles they found were rancid. They then dug them out and had to start over with new noodles that they had to get from the store. Therefore, when we got there, the food wasn’t ready. YEAH! I’m not the only one who does that kind of stuff. When we ate, the soup was fabulous. We enjoyed it very much. Finally, we started singing Christmas Carols and almost sang all that were found in the Hymnal. It was really fun.


Fun night at the Cutlers.

 The next day we had to get Craig’s medicine from the drug store and off to a Zone training meeting we went. It was a great meeting as we studied Scriptures about Christ that fell into several categories: the pre-existence, mortality, spirit world, and judgment.  The Scriptures are replete with the Savior’s mission. We are so blest that He loves us so much that He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Our Scripture for the December is 2 Nephi 25:26 –
            And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of
            Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to
            what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

This is a great scripture to teach the children. We love you all.

Elder and Sister Lenhard